The Hoover Company

Infobox Company
company_name = Hoover
company_type = Division
genre = Home Care
foundation = 1907
founder = James Murray Spangler
location_city =
location_country =
location = Glenwillow, Ohio
origins =
key_people =
area_served =
industry =
products = Vacuums, Deep Cleaners, Hard Floor Cleaners, Stick Vacs
services =
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
parent =
divisions = VAX, Dirt Devil, Ryobi
subsid =
owner = TTI Floor Care North America
company_slogan = Not Just Clean. Hoover Clean.
homepage =
dissolved =
footnotes =

The Hoover Company started out as an American floor care manufacturer based in North Canton, Ohio. It also established a major base in the United Kingdom and for most of the early-and-mid-20th century, it dominated the electric vacuum cleaner industry, to the point where the "hoover" brand name became synonymous for vacuum cleaners and vacuuming in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Hoover Company in the United States was part of the Whirlpool Corporation but sold in 2006 to Techtronic Industries for $107 million. Hoover UK/Europe (split from Hoover U.S. in 1993) is owned and operated by the Brugherio, Italy-based Candy company. It continues to use the original Hoover logo with the slogan "Generation Future"

Hoover was also an iconic domestic appliance brand, particularly well known for its washing machines and tumble dryers in the UK and Ireland and, also had significant sales in many parts of Europe. Today, the Hoover Europe Brand, as part of the portfolio of brands owned by Candy Group, remains a major player in the European white goods and floor care sectors in a number of countries.


The first upright vacuum was invented in 1907 by a Canton, Ohio department store janitor and occasional-inventor named James Murray Spangler. Spangler suffered from asthma attacks, and he suspected the carpet sweeper he was using at work was the cause of his ailment. He created a basic suction-sweeper, first by adapting his existing carpet-sweeper with an electric fan motor, then creating his own prototype from a soap box, electric motor, broom handle, and pillow case. After refining the design and being granted a patent, he set about producing the 'Electric Suction Sweeper' himself. He was aided by his son, who helped him assemble the machines, and his daughter, who made the dust bags. Production was slow; he was completing just 2-3 machines a week.

Spangler then gave one of these Suction Sweepers to his cousin, Susan Hoover, who used it at her home. Impressed with the machine, she told her husband about it. W. H. "Boss" Hoover was a leather-goods manufacturer in North Canton, which at the time was called New Berlin. Hoover's leather goods business was threatened by the introduction of the Motor Car. Seeing in the Suction Sweeper a marketing opportunity, Hoover bought the patent from Spangler in 1908 and retained Spangler as company Superintendent, on royalties in the new business. Spangler coninued to contribute to the company, patenting several further Suction Sweeper designs, before his death in 1915. His family continued to receive royaties from his original patent until 1925.

Faced with a total lack of interest by the public in his expensive and unfamiliar new gadget, Hoover placed an ad in the "Saturday Evening Post" offering customers 10 days free use of his vacuum cleaner to anyone who requested it. Using a network of local retailers to facilitate the offer, Hoover thus developed a national network of retailers for the vacuums. By the end of 1908, the company had sold 372 Model O's. By 1912, sales had been made made to Norway, France, Russia, Belgium, Holland and Scotland.

In 1919, Gerald Page-Wood - an Art Director of Erwin, Wassey & Company, Hoover's advertising agency - came up with a succinct slogan which summed up The Hoover's cleaning action - 'It it it Cleans'. At this time, it referred to the action of the brushes from the brush roll, which tapped at the carpet and helped vibrate out the trodden-in grit. This offered an advantage over competitors machines, which used suction alone to remove dirt, and therefore were not as efficient as The Hoover. 7 years later, the famous slogan was to take on even more significance.

Hoover's business began to flourish, and, a year after Hoover acquired the patent from Spangler, he established a Research and Development department for his new business. By 1926, Hoover had perfected the 'beater bar'; a metal bar attached to the rotating brush-roll, situated in the floor nozzle cavity of the upright vacuum cleaner. Introduced on Models 543 and 700, the beater bar alternated with the sweeping brushes to vibrate dirt and grit trapped in carpets. It provided a more distinct 'tap' than the bristle tufts used on the former machines, and lead to a 101% increase in efficiency. This cleaning action was marketed by Hoover as "Positive Agitation". 'It it it Cleans' rang more true now than ever.

Ten years later, in 1936, Hoover filed another significant patent - this time for a new self-propelling mechanism for vacuum cleaners.

Over time, his company's sales expanded globally, and, in British English, the word "Hoover" became a verb meaning "to vacuum a floor".

In the late 1950s Hoover started releasing brightly colored machines to appeal to the customer. This continued far into the 1960s and 1970s. They were in very "Groovy" colors like tans,browns,light greens,yellows,pinks,blues,orange colors,reds and whites.

In 1957 Hoover introduced the Convertible (in the UK known as the "Senior", later the "Senior Ranger", and latterly, the "Senior Powerplus") that came with a new feature allowing the user to easily convert the cleaner to above floor cleaning with the hose using a converter. Hoover sold millions of Convertibles. Hoover tried pushing their other appliances to be popular. And the Convertible is Hoover's most popular cleaner ever sold. Hoover discontinued the Convertible in 1993, 4 years before the Windtunnel was first sold. However, there is a model still sold by the Commercial division, under the name of "Guardsman".

Then in 1963, Hoover came out with the Dial-A-Matic in the US (also known as the DAM), and then later in the UK the Convertible, the same machine as the DAM but the same name as the US cleaner. This was the first ever Clean-Air upright cleaner. The principle is similar to the flow of air through a cylinder/canister cleaner, but in an upright design. Hoover continues to market clean-air designs, but with modern improvements. The most comparable model in the modern model range, is most likely the Hoover Tempo. This cleaner, even though it had a huge advantage, did not sell as well as the Convertible, or in the U.K, the Senior. It is currently harder to find one of these than a Convertible. In 1969 Hoover introduced the Dial-a-matic "powerdrive". When it first came out it was quite pricey,costing around $150 which was a lot back then. It featured a self propelling mechanism controlled by a belt that made it easy to push around, the vacuum seemed like it moves itself. With a light push on the handle the cleaner moves effortlessly.It was equipped with a "Triple Acion" handle. The "powerdrive" feature was featured on concept models introduced in 1978, it replaced all Dial-a-matic models. The "powerdrive" feature is on some Hoovers from the 90s. The Hoover Dial-a-matic changed the look of the upright vacuum forever.


"However clean, Hoover cleaner" - 1912

"Just run the Hoover over" - 1918

"It it it cleans" - 1919

"Give her a Hoover and you give her the best" - 1938

"You'll be happier with a Hoover" - 1948

"Hoover fine appliances around the house....around the world" - 1954

"Floorcare for people who care" - 1962

"Hoover helping you has made us a household word" - 1971

"Insist on Hoover" - 1974

"America trusts Hoover to take care of its homes" - 1977

"America trusts Hoover" - 1984

"Nobody does it like Hoover" - 1993

"Deep down you want Hoover" - 1998

"Hoover gets it" - 2004

Popular Hoover machines

In the 1930s Hoover introduced The Hoover junior in the U.K. It is a smaller upright type vacuum for apartments or small houses and was easy to carry around. Hoover U.K made Hoover juniors for the U.S in the 1960s but only for a short time. Juniors were converted to American electricity by the Hoover company in North Canton, Ohio. Finding a Hoover junior in the USA is quite rare. The Junior was very popular in the U.K Hoover sold tons of them.

The Hoover portable was launched by Hoover in 1962. It is a "Suitcase" type canister that had no wheels; you would tug it around with you as you clean. When you were done cleaning you would put everything inside the portable. In 1969 Hoover added wheels to the portable. There are still some portables around today. The portable was sold until 1978.

The Hoover Swingette was introduced by Hoover in early 1970. It was a lightweight portable canister vacuum. You could use it to clean your stairs, upolstery , your car, etc easily. It used the same motor as some other Hoover canisters and the Hoover dial-a-matic. The Hoover portapower is basically the same as a swingette but with different colors. It replaced the swingette in 1975.

The Hoover slimline was launched in 1964. It was similar to the portable but with a slimer profile design and lightweight. It was easier to carry around while cleaning. It was sold until about 1978.

Hoover Terms

In the UK, the term "hoover" has long been colloquially synonymous with vacuum cleaner, owing to the Hoover Company's dominance there in the first half of the 20th century. Although the company is no longer the top seller of vacuum cleaners in the UK, the term "hoover" has remained as a genericized trademark.

Over the years, Hoover diversified into other product lines, including kitchen appliances, hair dryers, and industrial equipment.

The Hoover Historical Center

In the 1970s, Hoover introduced The Hoover Historical Center.It is a Victorian-style farmhouse built in the 1840s. The Hoover family lived there for many years.As you go through the tour at the Hoover Historical Center, you start from the very beginning and you learn facts about the Hoover family and when the vacuum cleaner first began with displays of old non-electric vacuum cleaners like pump and friction cleaners. As you proceed, you learn about the beginning of the Hoover company and view displays of very early Hoover cleaners. From the Hoover Model O to Hoovers of the 1910s. As you continue, you will see displays of Hoover cleaners, products, advertisements, and memorabilia from the 1920s to the 2000s. The center also includes a gift shop where you can buy Hoover postcards, picture frames, and other things at the end of the tour.

Ownership transitions

The company was owned by the Hoover family until the 1940s, when it then became a publicly traded company. The company's stock was first traded on August 6, 1943. In 1985, the company was purchased by Chicago Pacific Corporation, and in 1989, Chicago Pacific was purchased by Maytag.

In 2004, Maytag announced that it would consolidate its corporate office and back office operations in Newton, Iowa and close almost all of Hoover's overlapping functions. This effectively meant that most white-collar jobs at Hoover's North Canton location would be eliminated. The company had previously closed another manufacturing facility in Jackson Township, Stark County, Ohio, and the facility was sold to a church. Like many manufacturing companies in the U.S., Hoover is facing pressures as consumers demand lower-priced goods. Hoover has operations in Mexico, where operating costs are lower than in the U.S.

After Maytag was acquired by Whirlpool in 2006, that firm reached an agreement to sell Hoover to Hong Kong, China-based firm Techtronic Industries." [ Whirlpool to Sell Hoover Business For $107 Million to Techtronic] ." Lam, J. "The Wall Street Journal". December 7, 2006.] TTI has announced its intention to close the original plant in North Canton in September 2007.

Free Flights promotion

In 1992, the British division of Hoover announced the Hoover free flights promotion, the demand for which rose far beyond the company's expectations, resulting in major costs and public relations problems for the British division and Maytag, which eventually led to its sale to the Italian manufacturer Candy. In 1993, Sandy Jack became the first person in the United Kingdom to take Hoover to court over the Hoover free flights promotion. Upon the decision in Hoover v. Sandy Jack at Sheriff Court in Kirkcaldy, Fife, a precedent is set. Hoover Holiday Pressure Group furthered court action against Hoover at St. Helens in Merseyside.

Hoover Constellation - The Canister without Wheels

The Hoover Constellation is a vacuum cleaner notable because it has no wheels. Instead, the vacuum cleaner floats on its exhaust, operating as a hovercraft. Introduced in 1952, it is [ identified by the spherical shape of the canister] .

In 1973 Hoover introduced the Celebrity. Lighter and shaped like a UFO, it floated almost too well, skidding across the carpets behind the user! Both designs are considered collectables today. Hoover has now relaunched the Constellation, although in the UK, it is now known as 'The Maytag Satellite'. Almost identical to the original, it has such modern refinements as a powerful 2000w motor, HEPA filtration and an air-driven turbobrush.

Products available in the USA

Note: Some model designs may be available in foreign markets, under a different brand name, i.e. not Hoover.


In 1997, Hoover launched vacuums with patented WindTunnel technology that have dual air ducts that lift and trap dirt without scattering it. WindTunnel Technology is available in bagged and bagless vacuums, including the WindTunnel + Cyclonic that debuted in mid-2007. It uses cyclonic technology, lifetime belts and an automatic cord rewind.WindTunnel 2 was launched in 2006. The vacuums were created to give the consumer less maintenance on the vacuum, with self cleaning HEPA filters that are equipped only in bagless vacuums, lifetime belts, and an extra reach hose.

Note: Windtunnel Technology is also employed in certain UK Vax vacuum cleaners, notably the "Mach" Series.


Fusion is a line of bagless vacuums with cyclonic technology, the vacuums are sold under $150 at many retailers, The Fusion removes dirt and kills allergies layer around the home with a powerful suction. The PowerMax Fusion Vacuum debuted in early 2007 and created exclusively for HSN became one of their #1 Hoover Vacuums at the network and one of the most popular vacuum cleaners in addition to Dyson and iRobot's "Roomba".


The bottom line Hoover for home customers, is a mock of the late Hoover Elite. It comes in bagless and bagged models, and is like the WindTunnel but without the WindTunnel technology.


In 2005, Hoover introduced the Hoover EmPower. It has a "Hush mode" for quieter vacuuming and a "Power Boost" for hard-to-clean messes. It is the first Hoover vacuum with a variable power control.


Introduced in the early 1990s, the SteamVac shampoos carpets using a mixture of water and detergent to pick up deep down dirt in the carpet and collect it in a separate recovery tank.In 2003, Hoover developed SpinScrub brushes, which are round-shaped powered brushes that massage carpet fibers on all sides. Most original SteamVacs and high-powered SteamVacs have SpinScrub brushes.


Introduced in 2001, it is designed to vacuum, wash, and dry bare floors. Original models used a stationary brush, but later they had SpinScrub brushes. It has once became one of America's best-selling hard floor cleaners. Hoover recommends Old English Hard Wood Floor Cleaner and Lysol Hard Floor Cleaner designed for the FloorMate.

Hoover is a major supplier to Walmart, HSN, Kohl's, and other big name retailers

Anniversary Edition

In June, 2008 as the company celebrates it's 100th anniversary, Hoover developed the Anniversary Edition line of vacuum cleaners, each product has Hoover's patented Windtunnel Technology & HEPA Filtration which traps 99.97% of dust.

Models include both the Bagged & Bagless Windtunnel with an Ergonomic handle, non scraching wheels, & fingertip controls.

The Self Propelled Windtunnel works in reverse motions & forward motions, and inclues a pet tool for easy pick up on pet hair & the standard Wintunnel features.

The Windtunnel Canister works on any floor surfaces with variable speeds & an automatic cord rewind.

And the Convertible is an updated version of the Dual V & SAVVY, it features both a bag & a bagless system all in one vacuum.


Hoover, over the past decade, has lost its dominant position in the UK and in the US and now faces strong competition from a whole array of brands. Some of those brands are Dyson, Eureka, Electrolux, Vax, Dirt Devil, Panasonic, Bissell and Kenmore (Parent company Panasonic

ee also

*Sandy Jack
*Hoover free flights promotion


External links

* [ Hoover official site (US)]
* [ Hoover official site (UK)]
* [ Hoover official site (Canada)]
* [ Hoover official site (Italy)]
* [ Maytag official site]
* [ The Vintage Hoover Emporium - Jack Copp's collection, as seen on BBC Ones 'One Show'!]
* [ Old Merthyr Tydfil: Hoover Ltd.] - Historical Photographs of the Hoover Factory at Pentrebach, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.
* [ TTI Floor Care North America]
* [ Vax official site (UK)]
* [] Hoover Vacuum Cleaner- www.You
* [] The Hoover Historical Center

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